Virtual personalities

The blogosphere (or more accurately, the vlogosphere) has been mourning the sad fate of one of its main stars, Lonelygirl15, whose video blog had achieved cult status for its mix of intriguing storyline and all-round appeal of a shy and lonely, yet cute teenager. However, Lonelygirl was not the homeschooled 16-year-old girl named Bree, but an actress playing a part in a video scripted by some young filmmakers. From the New York Times to BoingBoing, going through CNET, everybody’s talking about it.

I know that this may sound like 20/20 hindsight-ism, but I was never taken in by the whole lonelygirl craze. It must be that I’m immune to fabricated cuteness, or that I’m an old cynic, but I just didn’t get why people were raving about the show. Some have called her the Mona Lisa of YouTube, and there may be something to be said about her hypnotic appeal to the geek masses. I also think that there is something to be said about the growth of a new art, or the recognition that blogs, vlogs and YouTube offer new opportunities for viral and fad marketing. The Long Tail of Internet fads?

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